Category Archives: Visual Art

Fairy Gardens

One of my neighbourhood small grant projects for 2022 was encouraging people to create fairy gardens around Kitsilano.

Here’s our facebook group:

where I’ve collected examples around Kits plus projects you can do on your own.

Collage: Rabbits Fool Day

The Bunny Comes Through

Happy April Fool’s Day! and with Easter coming, the bunnies are here for us.

Hug a bunny today.

But don’t buy a bunny for an Easter present! Unless you actually know what you’re getting into of course.

Chocolate bunnies are good. Don’t hug chocolate bunnies.

Collage: Watching Adventures

Watching adventures

Just heard the new Covid Lockdown and feel a little like this picture.: Watching rather than participating. Last week I wound up having 4 meals out in two days. It felt a little excessive, but now I’m glad I filled up with “adventures”. Looks like I can still meet people outside wearing masks. so I’m off to circle dance with a couple of other women friends tonight.

Feeling sad. What are you feeling?

Collage: The other side of the Bridge

There’s something waiting on the other side of the bridge…

This collage had me thinking of living in North Vancouver but later in life identifying very much as a “city person” and especially as Kitsilano resident.

It reminded me of carpool trips from North Van to UBC in my late teens and early 20’s and reflecting on life since then and how much richness was waiting for me on the other side. New worlds; new vistas; a cup of tea; a glass of beer; so much was waiting.

Did you have a bridge you crossed from one world to another? Tell me about it.

May Flowers – TWGB idea

Are you “counting flowers on the wall”?

or out walking and gardening and enjoying the abundance of colour?

Either way “May Flowers” is a great theme for a ATC-TWGB (Things Will Get Better).

You can submit 9 cards in a binder sleeve (blanks, binder sleeves and materials available–just ask They can all be the same or you can mix up hearts, rainbows, flowers and whatever else TWGB inspires for you!

You’ll receive in a return a mixed collection of 9 cards from a variety of people after the show – and probably in Phase 3.

Flowers on the Wall – from the way back machine!

TWGB ATC Kits – what would you like?

Kit #1 – You can make a rainbow – out right now

Kit #2 – Home – including examples of how to fold a secret message into your “home” (See Penelope’s handout for how to do that.)

Kit #3 – Polka dot satchel – out with Leta. Lots of collage images and glue for 2. Includes 5 pages of 9 each available for trade

Kit #4 – Watercolour (plus) includes a small watercolour set with brush. Use the spray bottle to spray the colours first to make it easy. Watercolour paper can be cut to 2.5 x 3.5, or you can paint first and then cut. I like rough edges on watercolour paper, so you can use a ruler or other straight edge to tear. I’d suggest making it slightly smaller so the rough edge still fits in the binder sleeves. The reusable watercolour paper–Use the plain side; wash the coloured side (much of it will disappear) or use part of the painted side and add to it with paint or collage or whatever. Marie has this kit.

Kit #5 – Enough blank cards and binder sleeves, scissors and glue for a group of 6. Lots of collage images and various media including pencil crayons and waxed crayons. Various bright coloured papers for cutting up and labels for writing stuff on. Let’s call it the Birthday party kit? or the Friday night friends meetup kit. I’m thinking kids but adults might like too. This is the original satchel set up last year. I love to see it roam around the neighbourhood.

I’ve loved setting up kits with input from who wants to use them. Here are some of the tools and materials still available (and of course, the kits above will be available for circulation).

  • dragonfly punch; rubber stamp letters; watercolour pencil crayons; pastels, stencils, embroidery thread and fabric bits.
  • In fact–just ask, I might have it!

Deliver tools and leftover materials back to me with your completed cards for display.

OK, ready for stage 2 of the ATC-TWGB project.

I am making up kits for you to borrow with more than enough for 10 ATCs–9 for the binder page you’ll submit and an extra for you to keep. Many people make a series like this and then trade, but of course if you decide to do all entirely different ones, that’s ok too.

All kits have blank ATCs cut to size and a binder page for your 9 cards to submit. If you want multiple sets – e.g. for a family or because you want to make more than 9, just ask. Contact me if you live in Kitsilano and I’ll arrange a pick up spot.

Heart Kit: Red and pink paper, heart punch; heart embosser for crinkling paper into heart shapes; various red and pink drawing tools

Rainbow Kit: Rainbow colours in a couple of different drawing implements (crayons, pencils, etc); brightly coloured paper; etc.

Home: A sample of the “secret message” home card by Penelope; collage images; glue stick/s; scissors

Extras: Would you like to “trade in advance”? i.e. I’ll put in 9 finished ATC’s and when you submit your 9, I’ll keep those?

Display at 2909 West Broadway. I hope to get some instructions and a starter display up by this weekend (May 9) so as you wander by, do check it out.

Stay tuned for next zoom call — this Sunday night at 3pm. I’ll do a fairly informal show and tell of these options and the materials–and if you’ve done some by then, I hope you’ll join and chime in. If you learn to screen share before then or can send me an image for posting that would be fabulous.

The final zoom call will be sunday may 24. It will be “broadcast live” from 2909 west broadway and include a slide show of the submissions on display.

I made an 8,5×11 page of doodle hearts using different markers and then used a view finder to select and outline 2.5 x 3.5 cards and cut them. I got 5 I liked and then wrote on them with a silver sharpie. A heart kit for making you ATCs is available for borrowing.

ATC Deadline and Location

I’ll put up a display on May 15 and then change it on May 31.

So either pop through the door at 2909 West Broadway before one of those dates.

You’ll receive back a mixed binder page of 9 other cards. You can submit 9 cards all the same/similar, or 9 entirely different.

If you’re mailing, send to

Our mailing address is:
2909 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K2G6

and mark ATC on the envelope.

I’ll arrange for locals to pick up – probably using little free libraries as pick up spots or my “gifting” bench at 5th & Trafalgar.

If you can’t pick up within Kitsilano, include a self-addressed stamped envelope and I’ll mail cards back to you.

Send Mail Art to say: “TWGB”

People are mailing things (and ordering things via email).

Make some mail art and send off to friends and family near and far — or exhibit as part of the Kitsilano ATC show in May. Let them know that Things Will Get Better (TWGB).

Mail art can be similar to ATCs, but larger and made for mailing rather than trading. But you do sometimes get something back. Usually collage and mixed-media.

This is my understanding of Canada Post requirements and costs.

Lettermail™ Speed Local – 2 days Provincial – 3 days National – 4 days

NOTE: These delivery standards are not guaranteed . And this is what Canada Post says about effect of coronavirus:

We’re experiencing delays as we put safety first

In the last few weeks, we have seen a significant increase in parcel volumes as Canadians are staying home and shopping more online. We are working hard to respond in a responsible manner. With incoming parcel volumes at Christmas levels, the important safety measures we’ve implemented in our processing facilities mean it is taking longer to process. Those measures include physical-distancing in facilities that were never designed for keeping people 2 metres apart. We continue to process and have been delivering in record numbers for this time of year, but the reality is that customers should anticipate delays.

Lettermail Pricing Table Standard (Envelopes, Cards and Self-mailers) 0–30 g Stamps in booklets/coils/panes $0.90 $1.27

30–50 g Single Stamp(s) $1.05 $1.27

If you collage, you’ll be in the 30-50 g category probably. Make sure it’s not more than 5mm thick with no bumpy parts, or put in an envelope.

Other (Non-standard and Oversize) 0–100 g Stamp(s) $1.90

NOTE: Standard square envelopes are acceptable with maximum size of 156 mm x 156 mm x 5 mm). (6.14″ square)

Envelopes must be sealed.

Some good links:

What is mail art?

aka “correspondence art” or “postal art”.

This site is U.S. based but I couldn’t find a Canadian one and a lot of this would apply. Also lots of great images showing stamp placement and calligraphy.